Friday, March 13, 2009

More on Vampire Boyfriends

This would normally be a comment but because we can't put links in comments, it will have to be a new post.

Just to show you how great minds work together, just on the heels of my blog entry about vampire boyfriends, The New Yorker decides to publish an article In the Blood in which the author, Joan Acocella, writes about the enduring appeal of vampires -- including both Stephenie Meyer’s "Twilight" novels; and Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels ("Dead Until Dark," plus seven more), which generated the HBO series "True Blood." Among other things, it points out why, with all its faults, Stoker's Dracula is such a great book.

But here's the unsettling part. Last October, yet another exhaustively annotated Dracula was published by Leslie Klinger. In this new edition, Klinger claims that he has examined Stoker’s original typescript, which, he says, has yielded “startling results.” Working with the original typescript and Stoker's notes, Klinger has been able to piece together how the book came to be written. He now believes that Jonathan Harker, a real person (with a changed name), gave his diary, together with the other documents that went into the novel, to Stoker so that Stoker might alert the English public that a vampire was in their midst. As Joan Acocella tells it: "Stoker agreed to issue the warning. But then Dracula got wind of this plan, whereupon he contacted Stoker and used on him the methods of persuasion famously at his disposal. Dracula decided that it was too late to suppress the Harker documents entirely, so instead he forced Stoker to distort them. He sat at the desk with Stoker and co-authored the novel, changing the facts in such a way as to convince the public that Dracula had been eliminated. That way, the Count could go on, unmolested. . . . Klinger’s fifteen hundred notes are devoted to revealing this plot. When Stoker makes a continuity error, or fails to supply verifiable information, this is part of the coverup."

Anyway, it's a great article.

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